What a hoot(er)!
He obviously nose his stuff, but remember girls - this is what 'magnetic personality' on those dating sites really means.
We're all told from a tender age not to shove things up our noses – Lego, chickpeas, pencils, fingers – but it seems even grown-up astrophysicists can have difficulty grasping these most basic recommendations when it's in the name of science. Unfortunately for 27-year-old Dr Daniel Reardon, the items that became wedged up his …
I've some neodymium magnets at home and they are powerful things.
Agreed. Neodymium magnets are small (mine are 8mm diameter, 1mm thick), with nicely polished surfaces. So, If you're doing anything with more than one of these magnets at a time they are surprisingly difficult to put precisely where you want them. This is a problem when working on a table-top or workbench, let alone anywhere near your nose and, presumably, while looking in a mirror to see what you're doing.
Although not mentioned sounds much like the usual experiments you get in arduino starter set with some hall effect sensors. As he had it working other than the inverse of what he wanted a simple inversion of equality in his code would have fixed it, if it was all descrete electronics a transistor or not gate would have done the trick too.
Still made me chuckle
I ran across a YouTube of a guy carefully doing some tests with very big neodymium magnets. In the range of 7-9 lbs. I was surprised you could even ship any that big. Used a large enough wooden box to keep things from getting too close.
I don't remember him letting them stick together. And they definitely would not fit into your nose or any other body orifice.
"a simple inversion of equality in his code would have fixed it, if it was all descrete electronics a transistor or not gate would have done the trick too."
I'm not sure about this particular astroboffin, but I have come across many very, very clever people who see a problem then come up with a massively overly complex "solution" from their own field of expertise and completely overlook the often simple everyday solutions. It's probably akin to the man with a hammer seeing every problem as a nail.
He could have just tethered his wrists to his belt with pieces of string short enough to keep his hands from his chin. It would be irritating, I grant you, but no more so than any other device which prevents a frequent and unconscious action.
Might have made it difficult to get his jacket on, though. Perhaps a magnetic quick-release?
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TBH, I did think it wouldn't be too hard to build a video-app which monitors your face and watches for any movements which bring your hands up towards your face, and beeps furiously when such happens.
Admittedly, this does mean leaving your laptop/phone camera on and pointed at your face all the time, but...
This would be a perfect task for a Personal Trunk Monkey!
Tell your PTM to prevent you from touching your own face or anyone else from touching it without your explicit consent, & do it's thing (howling, biting, & flinging feces) should it detect any such attempts.
We could use a smaller PTM (Chimp?) for clinging to the back of your head with the corset-style stays in its paws keeping your face mask on tight.
If you're not wearing your PTM equipped backpack then everyone else's PTM gets to attack you for being a splitter. It's a self correcting problem!
Personal Trunk Monkies for everyone! =-D
*Happily gobbles dried frog pills like candy while making Cookie Monster noises*
He could have just tethered his wrists to his belt with pieces of string short enough to keep his hands from his chin.
Or just worn some sort of full face mask, like say a halloween mask, or one of those strapped to a trolley murderers masks. And added some spikes to it, so if you tried to touch the mask you'd jab yourself with it.
"He could have just tethered his wrists to his belt with pieces of string short enough to keep his hands from his chin."
He's clearly not up there with Dr Sheldon Cooper. He'd have remembered when he was younger and his mother strung his mittens through his coat so as not to lose them. A simple and minor change to this method would worked perfectly.
I was particularly amused by the pliers.
Just because you're an expert in one thing doesn't mean that you're an expert in all things. Sometimes not experimenting, especially on yourself, is the better part of valor. At least he didn't have a radiation sensor and tried to stick some uranium up his nose.
"Just because you're an expert in one thing doesn't mean that you're an expert in all things."
This, this, this. We've been seeing a lot of this during our particular plague year.
As an aside, I heard of this story earlier from a astronomer whose Twitter account I follow, and she added that it was the second most ridiculous thing she'd heard an "expert" do so far.
I very much want to know what beat this story, which she didn't share, unfortunately.
The guardian article has a picture of the discharge notice as well. Ends with the phrase " [patient] denies further magnets". Which I've assumed to be a sarcastic shortened form of: "He _said_ there were only 4 but, you know, we're dealing with someone who put 2 magnets up their nose and then put 2 more up there because he thought it would help"
That is not really an unreasonable question.
There are people who are unrelated to each other who look close enough to be twins. Esprcially once ytou add professional makeup that is inteded to make them look even more like identical twins, hair colourings, styling hair the same, wearinfg the same clothes, etc.
Therrefore just because two actors look close enough to each other to be playing identical twins in a TV series or a movie doesn't mean they are actually biologically (sharing the same DNA) twins.
Sometimes they could even be a singular person who is playing both parts with some clever filming techniques (filming the same scene twice with the one person playing one twin's part in each re-taking, then combining the recordings so the same physical person is onscreen as two different people).
sometime over the last couple of years, a pair of identical twins sent samples to one one of those DNA genealogy / ancestry sites, and got completely different results from each other.. So they definitely had the same mother, quite likely had the same father, but somehow diverged at the grandparents onwards...
Science is wonderful, especially when it is based on wearing white coats and using lots of big words..
This is quite easily done. I did it after trying to entertain my kids by sticking two neodymium magnets either side of my nose and then making some stupid noises. They didn't find that funny at all, however when I tried to slide the magnets down, off my nose, and they flipped up either side of my septum, causing me to jump around and swear a lot, they found that hilarious. Didn't need A+E though, prised them out with a teaspoon with hardly any blood but a renewed respect for rare earth elements.
Once he's recovered from all the excitement, perhaps he can come up with a proposal or two...
"Hackathon also have offered several themes that developers can rely on when coming up with and submitting their proposals. The health themes includes a broad range of areas, including preventative and hygiene behaviors ..."
This sounds like the episode of "The Glums" comedy mini-soap included in BBC Radio's "Take It From Here" show in the 1950s, called "A Saga of Sixpence". It seems to be on YouTube audio and about ten minutes long.
Ron Glum (Dick Bentley) is an idiot; one evening his long term fiance (very young June Whitfield) wonders why every now and again he is hitting himself on the head with a hammer.
It turns out that he went to buy takeout food and had to deal with his food, the vinegar condiment bottle, and a sixpenny coin as change, and has he only has two hands... in defence he says "It is easy to be wise after the event."
The amateur physics is sound, though!
perhaps Reg-reading shed boffins can discuss how they could improve Reardon's design
Forget magnets and the Hall Effect. Use capacitance instead. Dig up Léon Theremin and ask him. Or just look him up in Wikipedia. Less grave-robby and probably more instructive.
Practically* speaking, wear RFID earrings and tape the emitter wand part to your forearms.
(*anything involving duct tape counts as "practical")
By wearing a mask, you constantly unconsciously touch your face (just watch someone for five minutes to see what I mean). This is probably the worst infection vector, and one that no quantity of masks can protect you from.
So the obvious solution to the problem is to not wear a mask for protection from the virus. No electronics or magnets needed. KISS
Note that this solution is in keeping with what actual medical experts have repeatedly stated, i.e. that wearing a facemask does no good whatsoever, unless you are infected with the virus ... and then they are there to keep you from inadvertently getting spit/snot on other people, thus infecting them. Most of the same experts have gone on to point out the reality of my opening paragraph.
So as a measure of enlightened self interest everyone should wear masks* - the reduction in transmissions (from the infected) means the infection rate will be lower before onset of symptoms and anyone needing ventilation has a better chance of being able to get it.
Also anyone, no matter how healthy, has an infection level that their body cannot handle, pick up a big enough dose of live virus at initial contact and you stand a far greater risk of your immune system failing to cope.
*Isolation is the only alternative
I find it very easy not to touch my face. I volunteer front of house in a charity shop and never do that while front of house. When I get off shift I immediately wash and properly dry my hands (govt exhortations to wash our hands fail to tell us to dry them properly, wet or damp hands spread diseases).
But then as a Biomedical scientist I have done tissue culture and sterile surgery and had my gloved hands covered in biological material and/or solvents so putting them near my mucus membranes is deeply, deeply contraindicated. All this in my professional life made the not touching my face outside it a cinch as the mindsets required are almost identical.
Instead of inventing tech, work on your mind and practice, practice, practice. Biology and Chemistry undergrads get such practice in teaching labs. It would seem our colleagues in Physics didn’t get the memo.
The coat is of course a white labcoat and I wear a medium pair of, ideally nitrile, gloves.
So simple even a biomdeical scientist can do it! One only needs many years experience developing the no-touchy-facey habit in a profession where inadvertent face touching is strongly verboten.
Excellent. Something we can all beneift from, then.
(Sorry for the snark, it's just that most people have a lifetime of developing bad habits, not a lifetime of conciously avoiding them.)